SCARCE SPANISH LITERATURE

Varias poesias.

[Madrid], por la viuda de Alonso Martin de Balboa, 1619.

£2,700

FIRST EDITION. ff. (iv) 96 (iv). Roman letter, with Italic. Decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Uniform age browning, t-p little dusty, light waterstaining to lower outer corner of couple of gatherings, minimal marginal spotting. A good, clean copy in contemporary Spanish vellum, yapp edges, traces of ties, joints partially loose at foot.

Scarce FIRST EDITION of the juvenile works of Francisco López de Zaráte (1580-1658). Born in Logroño, he studied at Salamanca before joining the army in Flanders and Italy, and eventually the entourage of the Duke of Lerma, becoming acquainted with authors like Lope de Vega. His early ‘varias poesias’ include 19 compositions where classical rigour is tamed by the poet’s fascination with the ways in which the force and beauty of nature can infiltrate the allegorical world of poetry. The first plays with darker overtones on the Virgilian eclogue, with shepherds conversing about love and death, ‘the port of life’. The second, with a strongly political character, locates the pastoral world in C16 Logroño, the poet’s native town. Religious poetry occupies a substantial part, including shorter verse on the Virgin and the celebration of the holy Feast at Lerma opened by a lyrical description in which the movement of constellations seems to extend the ‘soñolentas horas’ of the night and turn dawn into sunset. The remaining compositions are of several kinds, from verse for King Philip’s joust, moral lessons and variations on classical ‘fabulae’ to the translation of Martial’s epigrams. The most famous, which earned the poet the nickname ‘Caballero de la Rosa’, coined by Lope de Vega, is his sonnet to a rose, where the celebrated flower is caught in a world of extremes, between violence and frailty, the glory of beauty and the accident of death. A scarce collection and a little jewel from the ‘Siglo de Oro’.

4 copies recorded in the US.

Wilkinson, Iberian Books, 47238; Palau 142262; Simón Díaz, BLH 13/3706. Not in BL STC Sp. or Brunet.

L2902

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